Tuesday, June 6, 2023

What A Family!

Those dear faces! 

I love each and every one of them! 

All there recently to help celebrate my birthday.



It was a rare treat for me to go out to a nice restaurant. RH and I just don't get out nights much anymore and we stick pretty close to home instead of going downtown. 

The staff at The Optimist in Nashville served us the delicious seafood they're known for. I wish I had a picture of a granddaughter eating her first raw oyster, and then the second and third!

I felt as if I were Julia Child in her first French restaurant in the movie Julie & Julia as the browned butter pecan whole flounder was expertly deboned for me.

I think three of us ordered this dish while one ordered scallops with sweet corn and bacon vinaigrette, one ordered the New England lobster roll, and quite a few ordered the dry aged Kansas City strip with ramp butter.

The kitchen even fixed a chicken dish for this sweet young lady...

And soon we left with take home desserts, mine being a yummy chocolate pudding cake enjoyed before an early bedtime for a very tired birthday girl.

And the next day brought another gift when my granddaughter, above, and her mom and dad gifted me with this...

That's not a photo op, friends! This little one worked for hours with her dad scrubbing the siding and railing and floor on our front porch and across the front of the house as well as washing windows. 

And she claimed it was fun! She's always outside at home helping her dad and mom with yard care.


Tree limbs and holly bushes got trimmed away from the roof and hauled away.


I couldn't get a good picture of my daughter-in-law because she was bent over for hours weeding the front beds and planting seeds and pots of plants that RH hadn't got around to.


Even big sister helped out when she wasn't helping her Mimi inside!


I couldn't believe how much they all got done to help us with so much that needed doing. My front porch alone was an answered prayer and I'll try to do a post later on about that but here is one picture of my clean front porch that has been greatly decluttered now of my vintage primitive collection that had grown out of bounds until there was hardly any place to sit. 


But it was the back garden that everyone gathered in that late afternoon after more family arrived. 



I took this garden picture the next afternoon when I was in the kitchen and looked out and saw all the garden chairs pulled to the sunny patio and wished so much that I had taken one the day before of all the people who sat in the chairs.

We all talked for hours, laughing at old family stories, and going inside to the kitchen to sample food--I'd baked a double recipe of biscuits, roasted pork tenderloin, and made a green bean casserole, all thrown together while my helpers worked in the front yard.

RH had worked for days in the garden after we'd visited the family nursery down the street from our old house that was having a 25% off sale. I spent my Christmas money and some of my birthday money on pots of annuals in bloom for the added color I craved as well as herbs and pepper plants for the kitchen porch. 

Below is a picture of this garden spot when we moved here seven years ago when there was nothing but grass and trees and a few bushes. The sunflowers covered the old well.

RH has given me this gift of a garden to look out over while I'm working in my kitchen and a place for us to sit and talk and watch BreeBree and James Mason play. 

And I thank him continuously for that. 

I know this is far too long but it was my birthday and so I'll show you two more pictures taken inside my office where my daughter and grandson kept me company after granddaughters and their parents got back on the road to drive home, always an emotional time for me.

Here's a picture of my handsome first grandson and me, and my lack of smile is because I hadn't brushed my teeth yet after eating, not because I was as sad as I look.


They did coax a smile out of me for this one with my beautiful darling daughter.

We had an hour to visit some more before she and our son-in-law had to leave for the airport. And there was a special birthday gift from her that took me completely by surprise. I'll share that with you when the third part of her three-part birthday gift arrives soon by mail. 

A hint about what it is: it has to do with blogging. But no, you'd never guess it so you'll just have to wait.

I stretched out celebrating my birthday the whole month of May and now I'm stretching it out into June! 

Many thanks to my dear blog friends who left me birthday wishes in my last post. They blessed my heart!

And my thanks and love to my wonderful family, every one of you. You made it a birthday to remember!  




  1. Oh, what a wonderful thing the family did, all pitching in to help with chores around the house. That is the best gift for sure. It's not easy to do these tasks, as I've been out there working with the landscapers, cleaning and clearing out. A delicious seafood meal for all, and the chocolate pudding cake sounds perfect for your birthday. What a fantastic birthday gathering, Dewena, and it sounds like each one did a little something special just for you. Your little garden area is charming, and those deer! Spending time with family is the greatest gift of all, isn't it?

    Happy June Dewena!


  2. Happy June my dear friend,
    I LOVED reading this post. The power of family and the power of love... it is all felt right on the pages of your post. Thank you for sharing the little ones helping in the work of cleaning the house and doing yard work. My boys always enjoyed doing these jobs for their grandparents.
    Love you,

  3. How lovely to see your family having gathered from all over to celebrate your milestone birthday, Dewena! I love their sweet and happy smiles; everyone looks like they're having such a fun time!

    Getting all that amazing help clearing your spring garden and cleaning the outdoor space must have been so satisfying. Everything looks so lush and pretty! I love the beautiful containers beaming with so much brilliant colour and interest.

    I am VERY curious about your daughter's blog themed gift!! Can't wait to hear all about it!

    Happy June, my friend,

    P.S. Bangs suit you!

  4. Wow, what a wonderful birthday you've had! Being surrounded by loved ones at a beautiful dinner out and then at home, telling stories and laughing and eating more good food...just the best. And I don't think anything can beat having the family pitch in to get the house and gardens cleaned up. Are they for hire? ;-)

    Can't wait to hear about your porch and your blogging birthday present. xoxo

  5. My goodness, but this is wonderful. It made me so happy to read, and see the joyful and joyous images. I'm thinking about how great it is to have a party and work day and dinner out in the springtime of the year, when it really is fun for the children to get wet, and when the family can sit outside enjoying the beauty of their recent labors. And the flowers are blooming!

    Your property has certainly been "upgraded" by those beautiful landscaping improvements. I'm so glad you posted those particular photos, front and back -- and your porch! Oh, how I long to sit on that porch with you. <3

  6. Now that is what I call a wonderful birthday.
    You just can't beat being surrounded by the love of your family, the fun and the laughter.
    God bless.

    All the best Jan

  7. It looks like a lovely birthday filled with delicious food and fun family times...and what great gift, too. Now you can enjoy your garden!!

  8. What a wonderful birthday gift of love your family gave you. Your garden looks beautiful, and I find it hard to believe that it's been seven years since you moved there. Wow - time really does fly. Your porch is the perfect place to sit and observe what's happening in the garden. I look forward to reading about your blogging-themed gift. I wonder if it's a hard copy book of all your blog posts?

  9. Happy Birthday, dear Dewena! What a beautiful (and helpful!) family you have, a proud testament to you, I'm sure.
    looking forward to the big reveal! Very curious about the gift.

  10. Wow happy birthday to you. Looking at all these wonderful photos you are so blessed to have all that family nearby to celebrate with you. My four son and their families are scattered all over in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Montana and one locally here It would be amazing to see them all at the same time. I'm so happy for you that you have thesse amazing people in your family who did so much to help you but hey - you did a lot of cooking for them in return. Looks like such a good time you all had.

  11. Happy July! I hope that you are enjoy the fruits of your labor in your beautiful garden! How wonderful to have the whole family to celebrate your birthday! Your granddaughter is adorable. I am sure that she was happy to help her day wash the winter dirt off the porch.
    Happy belated birthday.